10 EffWorks Global 2021 key themes

IPA EffWorks Global returned in full force for 2021 with an in-person event for 300 in London and virtual sessions for almost 4000 online. Between 12 and 15 October our growing effectiveness community from the UK and around the world were treated to 8 pieces of new evidence and participated in frank debate and engaging case studies to champion marketing effectiveness across their businesses and non-profit organisations. Huge thanks to everyone for their contributions.

Catch up with the EffWorks Global 2021 conference sessions

All EffWorks initiatives are organised by consistent principles (the 3 ‘Ms’ of Marketing marketing, Managing marketing and Monitoring marketing) and this was no exception. Here we’re choosing to highlight 10 specific themes from this year’s conference and partner satellite events to whet your appetite and get you started. You won’t be disappointed!

Janet Hull, Executive Director EffWorks Global and Director of Marketing Strategy

10 EffWorks Global 2021 key themes

    1. Collaboration Nations

    Drawing on more than 200 experts and peer working groups, EffWorks Global 2021 demonstrated collaboration in action. From supporting the new Advertising Research Community (ARC) database of insights and data on non-awarded campaigns to working with Enders Analysis to piece together nuanced intelligence on consumer fragmentation in the COVID era or promoting the business case for brand building in partnership with the FT, co-operation was both theme and practice.

    In uncharted waters, such alliances are strategic resources for marketers seeking to make decisions on the best available evidence and work practices, and to benchmark their performance.

    Online is 'not the enemy of effectiveness', Advertising Research Community

    In 2019 UK PLC was at 48% - exactly the "just right zone"

    As of now there is no over-investment into online channels

    Data source: ARC Database From session: Dr Grace Kite, Magic Numbers, ‘Feedback from the front lines: new data on effectiveness outside award entries’
    Data source: ARC Database. From session: Dr Grace Kite, Magic Numbers, ‘Feedback from the front lines: new data on effectiveness outside award entries’

    The UK is investing the right amount of ad spend online for optimal returns - one of the findings of the Advertising Research Community database of data from non-awarded cases, developed through unprecedented co-operation among econometricians and researchers.

    We are all in the same boat. We are all searching for the future from a context that was utterly novel and new to all of us, and that is why we all need to learn from each other and to collaborate vigorously.

    Dr Alice Enders, Director of Research, Enders Analysis

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    2. Culture Shift

    The first IPA Marketing Effectiveness Culture Report profiled industry progress on embedding marketing effectiveness in organisations, and proposed a roadmap for agencies and brands to improve their performance in this area. We also heard about the impact of corporate marketing effectiveness drives at Nestlé Purina EMENA and Diageo.

    Estimating that up to a third of marketing spend is wasted through poor briefs and misdirected work, the Better Briefs global study, run with Flood+Partners, underlined the huge upside for marketing if briefing culture improved. Others saw similarly massive benefits from transforming how B2B marketing is viewed inside its brand owners and across marketers generally.

    Just over half of brands we surveyed had an effectiveness roadmap. Those that did were much more likely to balance short and long-term value.

    Brands with an effectiveness road map are 58% more likely to balance long and short-term value. 54% of brands have effectiveness roadmaps.

    Just over half of brands we surveyed had an effectiveness roadmap. Those that did were much more likely to balance short and long-term value
    Data source: IPA Marketing Effectiveness Culture Report survey, July-Aug 2021. From session: Nick Milne, Go Ignite Consulting, ‘Marketing Effectiveness Culture: the state of the nation’

    Now our task is to democratise effectiveness dialogue across our organisation… We do believe that ‘effectiveness’ should be a word used daily by our marketers.

    Olena Topilnyska, Insight and Innovation Director Nestlé Purina EMENA

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    3. Provoking on Purpose

    Peter Field’s presentation on the characteristics of the most effective brand purpose cases in the IPA Effectiveness Databank added a new take on this contentious debate, without seeking to provide the last word.

    Or even the last word of the week: it was followed by discussions of purpose from Danone, the charity CALM, Publicis.Poke and Dentsu (and in the lively media coverage of EffWorks Global).

    Although there are relatively few purpose cases in the IPA Effectiveness Databank, the best can be highly commercially effective. To understand this data in context, watch the whole of Peter Field’s presentation.

    Number of very large business effects

    Data source: IPA Effectiveness Databank, cases 2008-2020 From session: Peter Field, ‘The Effectiveness of Brand Purpose’
    Data source: IPA Effectiveness Databank, cases 2008-2020. From session: Peter Field, ‘The Effectiveness of Brand Purpose’

    We must move beyond simply championing purpose to drive systemic and structural pivots that transform for the better.

    Jean Lin Executive Officer, dentsu Group Inc. Global CEO, Creative, dentsu International

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    4. Creativity that connects

    Look Out, the new book from Orlando Wood of System1, provided a guide to advertising creative that can grow brands in a more technology disrupted and inward-looking world. Wood argues for creativity that highlights connection, as well as human uniqueness, movement, character, humour, music, and colour.

    The message from creatives at M&C Saatchi in our Next-Gen session was clear: trust the expertise of your creative partners and take risks to produce distinctive work (“Everyone says vanilla is their favourite flavour but no-one picks vanilla at the ice cream shop”)

    Creativity also needs resource: in an analysis of winners from the Warc Awards for Effectiveness, the marketing information company argued that ‘creative commitment’ as measured by budget, campaign duration and number of media channels, correlates with effectiveness.

    In a joint session with ITV, System1 also demonstrated how TV ads that connected authentically with British-African or British-Asian audiences, by including more diverse casting onscreen, also performed well with a nationally-representative sample.

    Advertising creative with ‘right-brain’ elements is proven to elicit more effective attention and emotional responses

    Data source: Look out. From session: Orlando Wood, System1, ‘Creativity and Effectiveness in a changing world
    Data source: Look out. From session: Orlando Wood, System1, ‘Creativity and Effectiveness in a changing world
    Find out more by watching Orlando Wood’s EffWorks Global 2021 session.

    We knew that there was a very strong moral case for increasing the diversity of casting and storytelling, but we wanted to understand what the effectiveness impact was. And the fantastic news was that we found a diversity dividend, if you like, across almost all the ads that we tested.

    Kate Waters, Director of Planning and Client Strategy, ITV

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    5. Pay attention to attention

    While the ability of investments in Extra Share of Voice (ESOV) to translate into brand and business gains was confirmed by Advertising Council of Australia-commissioned research from consultant Robert Brittain, there was concern that ESOV planning was under threat as digital spend is becoming harder to track and there is inequity between the amount spent on media impressions and the effectiveness achieved.

    Perhaps most seriously Prof. Karen Nelson-Field, CEO of Amplified Intelligence, cautioned that unless marketers adjust media spend to account for the varying attention audiences give advertising on different platforms, they risk not getting the Share of Voice that they are paying for.

    And attention habits change: there is some evidence that working from home consumers are paying more attention to channels such as direct mail, for instance as argued in the Marketreach Royal Mail partner session.

    Marketers don’t always get the Share of Voice they pay for

    When a critical input variable like reach or price paid fails, the accuracy of the output is anyone's guess. You might be getting less SOV (attention) than you think.

    Data source: Amplified Intelligence From session: Prof. Karen Nelson-Field, Amplified Intelligence, ‘The new growth weapon: ESOV + Attention’
    Data source: Amplified Intelligence. From session: Prof. Karen Nelson-Field, Amplified Intelligence, ‘The new growth weapon: ESOV + Attention’

    If you are overspending on low attention media platforms and underspending on high attention platforms while your competitors are doing the exact opposite, the principles of SOV fail.

    Prof. Karen Nelson-Field, CEO & Founder, Amplified Intelligence

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    6. No apologies for SoS

    Building on a presentation at last year’s EffWorks Global, new findings from the cross-industry IPA Share of Search (S0S) think tank confirmed that the search metric correlates significantly with a brand’s share of market. The correlation was found across cases involving multiple categories, countries and languages.

    Presented by Vizer Consulting’s James Hankins, the analysis provides further evidence that Share of Search is a good proxy for the consumer driven demand side of market share, and that there are relationships between Share of Search, Share of Voice and Share of Market. It included models showing that developing a brand’s excess SoS (i.e., greater than its share of market) can accelerate its market share growth.

    This confirmation helps explain the interest marketers have in incorporating Share of Search as a metric to gauge consumer interest, forecast changes in market share and track how this position can be influenced by increased media investment and new creative.

    Driving disproportionate interest in Share of Search is a sign a brand has impacted consumer interest

    This model by EDO, included in the Share of Search presentation, is designed to predict compound market share growth when different measures are greater than a brand’s market share. SoS = share of organic searches; SoSev = TV-driven incremental share of searches; SoM = market share).

    Data source: EDO. From session: James Hankins, Vizer Consulting, ‘Share of Search – One Year On’
    Data source: EDO. From session: James Hankins, Vizer Consulting, ‘Share of Search – One Year On’

    We find it (Share of Search) to be a really valuable tool with our customers, investors and board members to really communicate the strength of our brand…For us, search really does align perfectly with our other Key Performance Indicators.

    Sarah Brown, Head of Consumer Marketing, Rightmove

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    7. ‘Back to the Future’

    Although almost 60% of media industry respondents see the phasing out of the digital cookie as disruptive, only 40% of marketers were preparing for the cookie-less future, according to a Kantar Media survey in 2020.

    This is the background to the IPA’s report on new challenges in effectiveness measurement – from eyeball tracking to artificial intelligence and the increasing importance of transparent permissions from researched audiences.

    Author Andy Brown, former CEO of Kantar Media, predicts that brands will increasingly rely on their own data, but as this only covers part of the market there will be a greater need to collaborate with other research partners or data owners to get a more holistic view of consumers.

    While finding the right partners will be crucial, Brown also predicts that studies will do more A/B testing, sophisticated modelling and deals with those that have valuable databases. In this way, it will resemble trends in the 1990s, but with a greater need to integrate different datasets and systems, particularly as it is likely that large tech platforms such as Google and Facebook will consolidate and reduce their research partners to a select few.

    Most marketers are not preparing for a future without online cookies

    Kantar Media Reactions survey 2020 From session: Andy Brown, ‘The New Boundaries of Tracking and the Cookie-less Frontier’
    Kantar Media Reactions survey 2020. From session: Andy Brown, ‘The New Boundaries of Tracking and the Cookie-less Frontier’

    KPIs are often pointing at the same consumer but in different ways. Silos lead to fractured brands, pieced together with lack of consistency. Businesses are organised vertically, consumers are horizontal. We really have to join the dots to increase effectiveness.

    Pip Hulbert UK CEO, Wunderman Thompson

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    8. Outcomes not outputs

    With Analytic Partners estimating that the number of marketing channels has risen by a third since 2016, the risk is that marketers will focus on outputs on this ever-increasing range of formats and channels and lose sight of the outcomes they are expected to deliver (see BetterBriefs chart).

    In presenting its research on the potential brand uplift for ‘Connected Brands’ (i.e. campaigns incorporating elements from messaging or live elements to e-commerce and working with creators and influencers), Facebook stressed the core importance of identifying the brand outcome and the job each campaign needed to do.

    An innovative approach to mapping the risk and reward of different reach strategies was offered in a wide-ranging session from Twitter and Oxford University. In suggesting how to apply thinking from financial portfolio risk management to managing marketing investments, Felipe Thomaz, Associate Professor Of Marketing at University of Oxford, also emphasised that clarity of goals for individual activities was important, and brands trying, for instance, to move brand awareness and purchase intent at the same time were at greater risk of sub-optimal results.

    The missing ingredients from most marketing briefs

    Data source: BetterBriefs Project/Flood+Partners From session: Matt Davies & Pieter-Paul von Weiler, BetterBriefs Project, ‘BetterBriefs: when it comes to briefs marketers and agencies are on different planets’
    Data source: BetterBriefs Project/Flood+Partners. From session: Matt Davies & Pieter-Paul von Weiler, BetterBriefs Project, ‘BetterBriefs: when it comes to briefs marketers and agencies are on different planets’

    More than half of agencies (55%) think clear objectives and outcomes are missing and a third believe that a clear strategy or a problem definition are missing from the marketing briefs they receive.

    Matt Davies, Project Co-Founder, Better Briefs

    9. Build brands to build mental availability

    …is hardly a new idea. That did not prevent consistent re-affirmation across the week that mental availability (namely "the propensity of a brand to be noticed and/or thought of in buying or consumption situations") remains a key area for effective marketers to invest in strengthening and to track.

    In addition to evidence on mental availability being discussed in the creative, purpose and ESOV sessions already mentioned, it was also reported that Share of Search was a “good proxy for aggregate mental availability”.

    In its session on how B2B brands grow, The B2B Institute@LinkedIn argued that since the vast majority of customers in markets such as automotive, computing or banking our not ‘in market’ most of the time, it is more important to invest in being ‘memorable rather than clickable’ by communicating to the whole market with messaging that addresses buyers’ key needs using distinctive brand assets. It asserted: “Don’t be distracted by other advertising objectives, build mental availability to grow.”

    It was a useful reminder that while EffWorks Global seeks to bring marketers new research, thinking and debates, its role is also to confirm the longer-established effectiveness precepts that the evidence shows are still true.

    Although marketers worry about consumers rejecting their brands, more people simply are not aware of some brands.

    The main problem is always brand unawareness. Most buyers aren’t even aware your brand exists.

    Data source: Ehrenberg-Bass Institute/B2BInstitute@LinkedIn From session: B2B Institute@LinkedIn, ‘How B2B Brands Grow’
    Data source: Ehrenberg-Bass Institute/B2BInstitute@LinkedIn. From session: B2B Institute@LinkedIn, ‘How B2B Brands Grow’

    We know that many brands…under-invest in brand building and as a result they’re neglecting their mental availability and essentially this sacrifices long-term growth at the expense of delivering in the short-term.

    Robert Brittain, Rob Brittain Consulting

    10. Effectiveness in action

    Amid the busy EffWorks schedule, it would have been easy to miss the official launch of the IPA Effectiveness Awards 2022.
    For these Awards, new special prizes have been added for Best Demonstration of Purpose (For-Profit and Not-For-Profit) – for the papers which best prove and demonstrate brand-led effective social or environmental activity. There is also the President's Prize for Behavioural Change - awarded to the entry which best demonstrates an innovative marketing approach that accelerates significant behaviour change. As part of efforts to recognise purpose-led case studies, the entry fee will be waived for work conducted by agencies on a pro-bono basis.

    There will also be a new special prize for B2B marketing effectiveness and other changes to categories.

    How to write the best paper for the IPA Effectiveness Awards, 2022 - 5 tips for success

    1. Have a plan
    2. Get the gang together
    3. Gather the evidence
    4. Tell a good tale
    5. edit, edit, edit

    Data source: Jo Arden, Publicis.Poke & Deputy Convenor of Judges, IPA Effectiveness Awards 2022. From session ‘IPA Effectiveness Awards Lunch and Learn with Diageo’

    It is time to make the IPA Effectiveness Awards even more global in their outcome and outlook by being more representative of the existing and emerging diversity of marketing challenges and market realities worldwide

    Harjot Singh, Global Chief Strategy Officer, McCann, and Convenor of Judges in the IPA Effectiveness Awards 2022

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    Catch up with the EffWorks Global 2021 conference sessions

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    Last updated 10 November 2021